Being a WWE fan means sometimes getting used to missed opportunities. We’ll probably never know who attacked Hideo Itami in the parking lot, the Bullet Club is never getting back together, and legal troubles may keep us from seeing the Hardys be their fully Broken selves. It’s sad, but you get used to it.
However, there’s been one particular missed opportunity for the past year that hasn’t been sitting well with me: how the hell is Kalisto not the ace of the Cruiserweight division?
This has been going on since the brand extension draft last July, when Raw made it very specific that they were getting the Cruiserweight division, while Kalisto was sent to Smackdown Live. It seemed like that mistake was going to be corrected at Survivor Series when Kalisto faced Brian Kendrick for the Cruiserweight title and the rights to the entire division, but it was very clear that creative was more interested in having Kalisto get beaten up by Baron Corbin than putting him with the Cruiserweights.
It seemed like that mistake was going to be corrected when they swapped brands for Sin Cara and Kalisto, but that’s not been the case. Since coming to Raw, instead of being slotted in with the Cruiserweights, Kalisto has been tossed in a dumpster by Braun Strowman and stuck in a feud with Apollo Crews that seems more about Titus O’Neil than anything else. And now they seem to be moving on to using O’Neil to hype up Crews’s best friend Akira Tozawa.
Perhaps there is an argument to be made that putting Kalisto into the Cruiserweight division would be like putting in a big fish in a little pond. That small guys like Finn Balor and AJ Styles are getting pushed to the top of the main roster and that, despite his move set, Kalisto doesn’t necessarily need the Cruiserweights to survive. Which is true. WWE isn’t necessarily the land of giants anymore.
However, it also seems like creative has had very little to do with Kalisto since breaking up the Lucha Dragons besides using him as a punching bag for said giants with no real payoff. Plus, we seem to be reading rumors and speculation every week about the Cruiserweight division and 205 Live. That it’s failing, that ratings are low, that WWE is using the women’s division to get people invested, and the like.
Kalisto has always received a positive reception from the fans, so slotting him in with the Cruiserweights seems like an easy way to boost their credibility. Whether the division is actually failing or if it’s just the internet acting like the sky is falling, it still couldn’t hurt to bring Kalisto in to inject fresh blood and excitement into the division. If WWE can’t be creative enough to use Kalisto effectively with the heavyweights and regular midcarders, give him a chance to help the Cruiserweights climb up and show what they’re worth.
I mean, it’s been working well for Neville, and don’t all kings need a dragon to slay?
Ashley Leckwold is a freelance writer based out of Atlanta who specializes in comic books, professional wrestling, and pop-punk music. Besides being regularly found at Graphic Policy and The Outhousers, you can find her at her blog and on Twitter @misskittyf.